Saturday, June 21, 2008

For Love or Country: The Auturo Sandoval Story

This is a political blog and not a blog about films. However, you should see this one if you haven't. I watched it again recently and there is such an interesting line in it where Arturo Sandoval makes the comment that Castro came to power by promising the people the things they were most desperate for.. something like that.
The recent political climate worries me. It seems that the man leading the pack right now is the person who will promise that the government will give the most to the people. I am not comparing Obama to Castro, (much) .. but I am comparing the attitudes of the people of the United States to the people of Cuba.
The government is not a self-filling magical cornucopia of goodness. It can only give to one what it takes from another. The sense of entitlement that we see in the people worries me. The news coverage of Katrina especially bothered me.. So many people waiting for something to be done for them rather than doing for themselves.
I believe in this country, but I am concerned that we are slowing giving away our liberties. As we allow government intervention to encroach more and more, we are risking our independence. It is so difficult already for a start-up business to make it. Less than half do. With more taxes and government regulation, with more people demanding less of themselves and more of the government, where are we going?
In Cuba, the people wanted Nationalized Health Care.. They got it! Now their best Doctors drive cabs in order to make a living wage.. along with their physicists and engineers.
We need to demand of ourselves, not of our government. What should people be demanding of themselves? Remember John F. Kennedy.. (a liberal) who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." What happened to that attitude? What does our country need from us, an education, for one thing. There is no reason whatsoever that a person should not get a decent education in this country. It doesn't have to mean college. There are all kinds of great jobs that can be had with other types of training. We have Pell Grants and student loans and free public libraries. Nothing else is needed other than the will to do it. Instead, we entertain ourselves to death and expect to drive the cars and have the lifestyle of our favorite celebrities appearing in In Style Magazine on the basis of earning a GED.
Then, it is pathetic to me as well how many people go to the trouble of getting a college education and then figure they've learned it. Lifelong learning not only helps people to understand better what is happening in the public forum, but it makes you a more interesting person. Read... or be a bore.
People don't learn to manage their money. They don't get the concept of you must either make more or spend less.
I am also so tired of hearing about how hard it is to live on the minimum wage. I've made minimun wage... I know! But, no one is meant to spend their life working for minimum wage. You are meant to get through school earning minimum wage.. just to get started, but eventually you should be getting more training and education and be able to get a better job. We can't demand that small business pay benefits and high salaries for jobs that take little or no skill. We as a nation cannot afford the inflation. When you raise the minimum wage, you simply raise the cost of everything for everyone, including those who make minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is an issue that Democrats love to get elected on, but in actuality it helps not a single soul and hurts many.
Everything should be done to get out of the way of business and help it prosper. This is how the individual succeeds. When more jobs, better jobs are created.. people have the opportunities they need to advance out of the menial and into a better life... and they do it in a way that doesn't teach their families to live on the dole for generations, they do it with pride and independence.
I've been interested to read recently a fascinating book about Paul Revere, which I will review in a few days on my other blog. From this book, I learned that Paul Revere charged his elderly mother rent to live in his home. Not that he was a jerk of a son or anything like that, the practice was very common. He charged his mother rent more out of respect for her, knowing that she had saved and prepared for her old age and was able to care for herself.. an independent woman. That independence, that financial liberty was so prized and respected people spent blood, sweat and tears to get it. We think a dollar is hard to come by these days. Revere would never have disrepected his mother by assuming that she could not care for herself.
We don't know what it is to save like that and I am concerned. Social Security (who wants to live on that measly amount anyway) is not going to be there for my generation. If it is, it will be because the government will have passed the bill a long to our children.
I hope that when this next election comes up.. the electorate will be smarter. Don't fall for the easy line. Don't fall for a Robin Hood. We are the government, when the government takes, we all give something up and in this election year, it could be a devastating amount.

Friday, June 13, 2008

FDR... A Declaration of War...

It's important to remember some bits of our history every occasionally..
FDR 1941

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

The Court Disturbs a Hornet's Nest...

The issue of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has bothered me. I don't want people held there indefinitely. However, our nation, is in a real war. During every other conflict our nation has been involved in, we have held prisoners until the conclusion, until they could be safely dealt with. The prisoners are the enemy. I have never understood the criticism of President Bush on this issue. As Justice Scalia explains so well here, the President didn't make this stuff up.. he followed over two hundred years of legal precedent.

Dissent by Justice Scalia here:
Excerpts (again citations omitted) from Justice Scalia’s dissent (joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Thomas and Alito):

“Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, the Court confers a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war . . . The writ of habeas corpus does not, and never has, run in favor of aliens abroad; the Suspension Clause thus has no application, and the Court’s intervention in this military matter is entirely ultra vires.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.

That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional Republic. But it is this Court’s blatant abandonment of such a principle that produces the decision today.

The President relied on our settled precedent in Johnson v. Eisentrager (1950), when he established the prison at Guantanamo Bay for enemy aliens.“[I]n response [to the Court’s 2006 ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld], Congress, at the President’s request, quickly enacted the Military Commissions Act, emphatically reasserting that it did not want these prisoners filing habeas petitions.

It is therefore clear that Congress and the Executive—both political branches—have determined that limiting the role of civilian courts in adjudicating whether prisoners captured abroad are properly detained is important to success in the war that some 190,000 of our men and women are now fighting . . . What competence does the Court have to second-guess the judgment of Congress and the President on such a point? None whatever. But the Court blunders in nonetheless. Henceforth, as today’s opinion makes unnervingly clear, how to handle enemy prisoners in this war will ultimately lie with the branch that knows least about the national security concerns that the subject entails.

“What drives today’s decision is neither the meaning of the Suspension Clause, nor the principles of our precedents, but rather an inflated notion of judicial supremacy. The Court says that if the extraterritorial applicability of the Suspension Clause turned on formal notions of sovereignty, ‘it would be possible for the political branches to govern without legal constraint’ in areas beyond the sovereign territory of the United States. That cannot be, the Court says, because it is the duty of this Court to say what the law is. It would be difficult to imagine a more question-begging analysis . . . Our power ‘to say what the law is’ is circumscribed by the limits of our statutorily and constitutionally conferred jurisdiction. And that is precisely the question in these cases: whether the Constitution confers habeas jurisdiction on federal courts to decide petitioners’ claims. It is both irrational and arrogant to say that the answer must be yes, because otherwise we would not be supreme.

“Putting aside the conclusive precedent of Eisentrager, it is clear that the original understanding of the Suspension Clause was that habeas corpus was not available to aliens abroad, as Judge Randolph’s thorough opinion for the court below detailed . . . It is entirely clear that, at English common law, the writ of habeas corpus did not extend beyond the sovereign territory of the Crown.

“Today the Court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause, invoking judicially brain stormed separation-of-powers principles to establish a manipulable ‘functional’ test for the extraterritorial reach of habeas corpus (and, no doubt, for the extraterritorial reach of other constitutional protections as well). It blatantly misdescribes important precedents, most conspicuously Justice Jackson’s opinion for the Court in Johnson v. Eisentrager. It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens abroad absent statutory authorization. And, most tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner. The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today.”

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hugo Chavez..

Mr. Chavez, the Hitler of Venezuela, recently put forward a kind of inform on your neighbors type of policy.. which he says that he is now repealing. The man is a lying snake.
I feel so sorry for the people of Venezuela.. those who want to build something in this nation will not be able to under this dictator.. and the poor and un-educated will follow the path that so many do when ruled by those who slowly but surely take away their liberties. Wake up Venezuela and smell the coffee! Check out a book on the occupation of Hungary, the reign of Hitler, the presidency of Joseph Stalin... Wake up! Demand your liberties back!! It's almost.. if not.. too late..

What will the U.S. do when he invades Columbia? The Colombians are just getting on their feet.. what will they do?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Envrionment...

Shall we bankrupt our nation based on popular science?
This... is pretty close to my view on Environmental issues..

Sunday, June 1, 2008


In addition to Walter Mondale, there are many Americans who don't see the benefit to funding NASA. Like, Mondale many see the millions that go to scientific research in the area of defense of which space is an arm and see waste. Mondale, a Robin Hood character who ran a presidential campaign based on a promise to raise taxes, was just the sort of take from the rich and give to the poor type that drives me crazy. We have seen this sort of short sited politician before and we are seeing him again.

Let me just list a few ways that NASA spending has affected the global community...

Image processing used in CAT Scanners and MRI technology in hospitals worldwide came from technology developed to computer-enhanced pictures of the Moon for the Apollo programs.
Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process, and insulin pumps were based on technology used on the Mars Viking spacecraft.
Programmable Heart Pacemakers were first developed in the 1970s using NASA satellite electrical systems.
Fetal heart monitors were developed from technology originally used to measure airflow over aircraft wings.
Surgical probes used to treat brain tumors in children resulted from special lighting technology developed for plant growth experiments on Space Shuttle missions.
Infrared hand-held cameras used to observe blazing plumes from the Shuttle have helped firefighters point out hot spots in brush fires.
Satellite communications allow news organizations to provide live, on-the-spot broadcasting from anywhere in the world; families and businesses to stay in touch using cellphone networks; and the simple pleasures of satellite TV and radio, and the convenience of ATMs across the country and around the world.

In my own home I sleep foam topper that saves my back and was initially developed for use in the space shuttle.

And what Mr. Mondale about feeding children... ALL of these technologies have turned into industries that supply good jobs and feed families with children across the entire globe and not only that, they keep us healthier and safer. Money spent on defense including space is the ONLY money the goverment spends that shows a real return in the economy. There are some government entitlement programs that are absolutely necessary in civilized society, but they should always be a hand up... and a subject for another day.

Obama proposes to cut NASA funding.